This Grand Pacific Ultimate Small Group Tour is specifically tailored to provide a Business Class level of comfort, service and quality without compromise. Travel in style on a full-size, state-of-the-art coach with a maximum of only 20 travellers and enjoy extensive onboard features and VIP extras. This coach, cruise & rail tour takes you right through New Zealand from the North to the South Islands. Experience the best that the country has on offer, including some wonderful rail and cruise inclusions along the way.
(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner (SD) Specialty Dinner
As you step outside the doors of Crowne Plaza Auckland Hotel, you will find yourself in the centre of the bustling Auckland CBD, if you look up, you’ll see the iconic Sky Tower towering above just one street over.
Expansive sub-tropical gardens and extensive guest facilities at Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands enhance the welcoming atmosphere of this resort-style hotel. Conveniently located in Paihia, it’s the perfect base from which to explore this beautiful part of New Zealand. The hote has island-influenced architecture with beautifully landscaped grounds and light airy rooms, it’s a pleasant stroll into town to the main wharf, visitor activities, fine dining and shopping.
Adjacent to Wellington’s waterfront, InterContinental Wellington offers a great central location. The guest rooms are spacious, all rooms feature a TV with cable channels and a large bathroom with modern amenities and bathrobes. The hotel’s restaurant is open for breakfast and offers an internationally crafted menu in a luxurious setting. The Lobby Lounge offers a warm and cozy setting to enjoy a snack and cocktail. There is a health club that features an indoor heated pool, a spa and sauna. Te Papa Museum of New Zealand is 5 minutes’ walk away.
The George hotel in Christchurch typifies luxury at every level. Extensive facilities, comprehensive service, excellent quality and attention to detail. Experience personalised service in a beautifully appointed hotel. The George restaurant – the award-winning 50Bistro offers a beautiful setting overlooking Hagley Park and near to the city’s sights.
Distinction Fox Glacier Te Weheka Hotel an ideal accommodation in Fox Glacier village. The hotel’s location provides a real sense of privacy and peaceful seclusion, while being only a short stroll to the village. All rooms have been recently refurbished and feature their own balcony, lounge area, spacious bedroom, TVs with Freeview channels and en-suite with a separate shower and bath. The hotel has complimentary unlimited WiFi, and access to the cosy lounge area with fireplace and library, a great place to relax with a glass of wine and enjoy views of the township and Cook River Valley.
The views from Heritage Hotel Queenstown are awe-inspiring – soak in the view of the towering Remarkables mountain range, rising from the rippling waters of Lake Wakatipu from the comfort of the hotel. Crafted from centuries-old schist stone and cedar, this is a comfortable hotel. The spacious, beautifully appointed rooms take in a variety of views of either the surrounding forest and towering mountains or the majestic Lake Wakatipu.
The Fiordland Navigator is a purpose built vessel designed to replicate a traditional trading scow and is perfectly suited to cruising the fiords. It sleeps 72 people in private cabins with en-suites (twin or double bed configuration) or quad-share bunk-style compartments with shared bathroom facilities. There are spacious viewing decks, dining saloon, licensed bar and observation lounge. The vessel carries kayaks and tender craft onboard.
Conveniently located in the heart of Te Anau’s town shopping centre, a short stroll from Lake Te Anau, the Distinction Luxmore offers 2 on-site restaurants. Enjoy views of the township looking towards Lake Te Anau from Hilights Restaurant which is known for its excellent breakfasts and delicious carvery buffet dinners. Bailiez’s legendary café style menu and bar is popular among Te Anau locals and a great choice for relaxing after exploring Fiordland.
Located on the Te Anau lake front, a short stroll from the Te Anau town centre, Distinction Te Anau is perfectly situated for you to make the most of this beautiful area. There is complimentary unlimited WiFi as well as a great restaurant, renowned for offering the very best of South Island cuisine or the Explorer Bar & Lakefront Terrace is a great spot for relaxing and enjoying the uninterrupted views of Lake Te Anau. The hotel offers a range of recreational facilities, including a spa, sauna, outdoor swimming pool.
This property once was the 1937 former Chief Post Office in Dunedin and has now been transformed into this elegant hotel, located in the rejuvenated and vibrant Warehouse Precinct in the heart of the city. All rooms offer superior soundproofing and are outfitted with cloud-like beds, a microwave, washer/dryer, 55″ televisions and luxurious dual fixture walk-in rain showers. Complimentary high speed WiFi is available. You can also take advantage of complimentary access to the gym, or enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the stylish Post Bar and the popular Parcels Restaurant is open daily for breakfast and dinner.
Auckland, or Tāmaki Makaurau in Maori, is New Zealand’s largest city. It is based around 2 large and picturesque harbours. ‘The City of Sails’ is known as such because of the many yachts often seen on those harbours.
Tāmaki Makaurau is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two major bodies of water. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitematā Harbour on the Pacific Ocean.
The Auckland landscape is also dotted with 53 volcanic centres that make up the Auckland Volcanic Field. And the many volcanic cones are a feature of the city.
In the centre of the city, the iconic Sky Tower dominates the skyline and has views across the city and harbours.
There is lots to see and do close to the CBD. Bustling precincts include Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Harbour, full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes. Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, covers an extinct volcano and is home to the formal Wintergardens. A short harbour-side drive takes you to Mission Bay Beach, which offers a relaxed beachside vibe and a seaside promenade — a wonderful place for a stroll.
A slightly longer drive will take you to the Waitakere Ranges, which surrounding the city to the west, and pristine sub-tropical rainforest.
The Bay of Islands is a subtropical micro-region in the north of the North Island. It is known for its beauty, stunning beaches, deep sea fishing & importance to New Zealand history. And it is paradise for those that love beaches and water activities with a little colonial history thrown in.
The Bay of Islands includes 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula. The boutique towns of Opua, Paihia, Russell, Kerikeri and Waitangi, which played a very special part in Aotearoa’s history, populate its coastline.
There are a number of excellent ways to experience the region. One of the most popular activities is a trip to Cape Brett and the ‘Hole in the Rock’ on Piercy Island. A passenger ferry service runs between Paihia and Russell. And a vehicle ferry provides a link between Opua and Russell.
On land, you’ll enjoy beautiful river and seaside walking tracks or encounter the mighty kauri tree in pristine subtropical rainforest. This is a very beautiful and popular part of the country and a favourite with visitors and Kiwis alike.
Rotorua is an inland city that is famous for its geothermal activity, Maori culture experiences, 18 lakes, and three major rivers in a beautiful natural environment.
Rotorua is a major destination for both domestic and international tourists. Its geothermal activity, featuring geysers and hot mud pools, are world renowned. This thermal activity is created by the Rotorua Caldera, over which the town is built.
In Te Puia’s Whakarewarewa Valley, there are bubbling mud pools and the 30m-tall Pohutu Geyser, which erupts many times daily. Its also home to a living Maori village and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, with traditional wood carving and weaving schools.
Rotorua was one of the first places in the country to host tourists who came to experience the healing properties of the geothermal waters.
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and the location of our parliament. Located at the bottom of the North Island it sits on the Cook Strait, which divides the North and South Islands. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname “Windy Wellington”.
It is a vibrant and compact city, with a beautiful waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and some lovely turn of the century, timber houses on the steep hills it features. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens.
Wellington is home to New Zealand’s National Museum, Te Papa, and bespoke art and creative pursuits thrive in this city. Couple this with a strong café and restaurant culture and you have an interesting and unique little city to explore.
There are few places on earth like Kaikōura. A small coastal village, with a relaxed beachside vibe, it has some stunning views of both mountains and sea. And it offers to enjoy the bounty of the sea whether eating local kai moana or encountering local sale sea life off the coast.
The nearby Seaward Kaikōura Mountains, a towering snow-clad mountain range, provide a stunning backdrop over the town centre. Meanwhile, the town extends out to the Kaikōura Peninsula, where the waves of the Pacific Ocean roll in.
These mountains rise to heights of 2600m. And the undersea canyon that comes to meet them, plunges to depths of over 1200m very close to shore. These two factors alone make Kaikōura unique.
Stand on top of a snow-capped mountain in the morning. Whale watch or dolphin / seal swim in the afternoon. Then take in a gorgeous sunset while feasting upon fresh seafood beside the sea.
Christchurch is an fascinating city to explore. It was once a historic garden city. Since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes it has turned into a fascinating city of regeneration and growth.
The central city is filled with cutting-edge architecture alongside some of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. But Christchurch is constantly evolving, always giving locals and visitors something new to explore. Expect street art and innovative projects, a bustling hospitality scene and established green spaces.
The Avon River runs through the city, bringing a natural landscape to the urban environment. Cruise along the picturesque river on a flat bottomed punt. Take a ride on a historic tram through the city. With wonderful parks and botanic gardens to explore Christchurch is a great place to visit.
The small alpine village of Arthur’s Pass is located between Canterbury and the West Coast of the South Island. Climbing to more than 900 metres through Arthur’s Pass National Park, it is the highest and most spectacular pass across the Southern Alps.
The road and rail tracks through this challenging environment are pieces of extreme engineering involving viaducts, bridges, rock shelters and waterfalls redirected into chutes. This is also the route of the famous Tranz Alpine Train journey.
Arthur’s Pass National Park itself is a landscape of two halves. Climbing the eastern side of the alps from Christchurch you’ll see wide, shingle-filled riverbeds and vast swathes of beech forest. Then, as you descend the western side, you’ll pass through dense rainforest alongside and over deeply gorged rivers.
Visitors should look out for New Zealand’s inquisitive and comical alpine parrot, the kea, along the way. This is a rugged and beautiful part of New Zealand.
Tucked into the forested foothills of the Southern Alps is the cosy township of Fox Glacier. Focused around a 13-kilometre-long temperate maritime glacier, ‘Fox’ is in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of Aoteaoroa’s South Island.
Fox Glacier describes both the glacier and the nearby village. The town offers glacier hikes, flights, scenic walks and glow worm caves just a short walk from the town centre. And there is a good choice of cafes and restaurants.
Like its twin, Franz Josef, the glacier descends from the Southern Alps down into temperate rainforest just 300 metres above sea level.
Close to Fox is beautiful Lake Matheson, one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand. On a clear day it reflects Mount Cook and features prominently in many New Zealand promotional images. The short walk that circles the lake is a local must-do, offering numerous photo ops.
Queenstown is a stunning resort town, renowned for its beauty and wealth of adventure activities, it sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Southern Alps mountains, Queenstown is also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns.
Iconic adventure activities include bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers. And in winter, there’s skiing on the slopes of The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Cardrona ski resorts.
Queenstown is a hub of adventure, thrumming with adrenaline and an buzzing with a carefree sense of fun. But extreme activities aren’t the only options here. This world-famous resort town and its surrounding area boast many things to see, do, eat, drink and explore. Something for everyone at any time of year.
Doubtful Sound is a fjord in Fiordland, in the far south west of New Zealand. More remote than the more famous Milford Sound, it offers untouched wilderness to viistors. It the deepest (421 metres) and second longest (40 kilometres) of the South Island’s fiords and is accessed from Lake Manapouri.
Milford Sound is in the same region. But Doubtful Sound is sometimes called the ‘Sound of Silence’. It offers a powerful serenity the much busier Milford can’t match, making an overnight cruise here unforgettable.
Like other fiords in the area, Doubtful Sound contains two distinct layers of water that don’t mix. The top few meters, is fresh water, fed by runoff from the surrounding mountains. Below this is a layer of salt water from the sea.
The difference in refractive index between these two layers makes it difficult for light to penetrate. As a result, many deep-sea species — such as black coral — grow in the comparatively shallow depths in Fiordland’s sounds.
Doubtful Sound has some splendid waterfalls, particularly during the wetter seasons. In the Hall Arm, the Browne Falls cascades 619 metres; Helena Falls at Deep Cove tumbles 220 metres.
Wildlife is another reason to visit this fiord. Keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins.
A two hour drive from Queenstown, Te Anau is a Southland town. A pretty lakeside town, it’s known as a gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Te Anau offers great views of the lake and mountains beyond and a good range of cafes and restaurants. The awe-inspiring natural beauty of the park’s wilderness, including Milford and Doubtful Sounds is within easy reach.
The region is home to many of NZ’s Great Walks, endangered flightless takahē birds and abundant trout in Lake Te Anau. Te Anau Caves feature a limestone grotto of glowworms and an underground waterfall. To the southwest, the Kepler Track winds through beech forests, glacial valleys and mountains.
Known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin is a city that wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The small city boasts some eye-catching architecture and is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.
A gaelic language namesake of ‘Edinburgh’, Dunedin sits at the end of a long picturesque harbour surrounded by dramatic hills. There is so much to see and do here. Stroll through the city and its heritage buildings. Visit intriguing museums and historic homes like Olveston. Experience the rare wildlife found in the spectacular landscapes that surround the city.
The nearby Otago Peninsula offers endless views and beautifully rugged beaches. Nestled at the foot of Taiaroa Head is the Royal Albatross Centre — the only place in the world on the mainland where you can view Northern Royal Albatross in their natural habitat.
You will also find other wildlife including colonies of the world’s rarest penguin on the Peninsula. On the beaches, you will find fur seals and sea lions just lazing around and enjoying their natural habitat.
Dunedin’s heritage even extends to a real castle, high on the hills of the Otago Peninsula. Larnach Castle is New Zealand’s only castle and a much-loved piece of Dunedin history.
The Kauri Museum is located midway between Auckland and the Bay of Islands in Matakohe. Discover the history and the legacy of New Zealand’s ancient kauri forest, and the associated industries.
In addition to preserving the past, the Museum plays a role in conserving the remaining trees. It works to save NZ’s forests by raising awareness of the spread of the Kauri Dieback disease, and promoting forest ecology.
This is far more than a museum of timber. The Museum has stories of the Māori of the north-eastern Kaipara and European pioneers. Learn about early foresters and sawmillers, gum diggers and farmers, and business people, fishers and the local families. All of whom have made this area their home.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s most important historic sites.
Here, Aotearoa’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed in 1840. Today there is lots to see and do that connects visitors to that history. And it all comes with stunning views over the Bay of Islands
There are two contemporary museums. An authentic Whare Nui (Meeting House) hosts powerful Māori cultural performances. There are informative guided tours and an engaging visitor centre. Lush native forest and gardens. The inspiring art gallery and carving studio shouldn’t be missed. And the site also boasts, traditional Māori waka (canoe) and hāngi, a tranquil café and so much more. And all with stunning views over the Bay of Islands.
Board your cruise and take in the stunning views of the Bay of Islands. You’ll glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett. Here a historic lighthouse keeps watch over Piercy Island/Motukōkako or, as it is popularly known, the “Hole in the Rock”.
According to Māori legend, local warriors used to paddle through the hole in their waka (canoes) before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof above were a good omen.
If conditions permit, your skipper will expertly guide the ship through the narrow space… And if you get dripped on, consider yourself lucky!
Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales and other marine life during your cruise, and have your camera ready as you get you up close to the action. The crew have years of experience locating dolphins in these waters!
The Glenbrook Vintage Railway is a heritage steam railway in Glenbrook, rural South Auckland. The line and its fleet is a true inspiration for any rail or history enthusiast.
The railway runs over 7.5km between Glenbrook and the rural township of Waiuku. There are three level crossings and the total trackage including sidings, crossing loops, and yards is 10.2km.
The railway is run by a trust, founded in 1970, to preserve, rebuild, and operate the old Waiuku Branch Railway between Glenbrook and Waiuku.
Passionate volunteers have fundraised to acquire locomotives and carriages from around the country and cleared the overgrown railway line using machetes. The fully working railway you see today is a testament to the vision, dedication, and hard work of these founding members.
The Glenbrook Vintage Railway Fleet includes 87 rail vehicles and looks after 22 externally owned vehicles. This fleet includes seven steam locomotives, eight diesel locomotives and 32 carriages.
One steam locomotive, four diesel locomotives and 17 carriages are in operation on the line. The oldest vehicle is a six-wheel hand crane from 1878, with the newest vehicle a guard’s van from 1981.
The National Kiwi Hatchery is set in flourishing native forest and natural springs at Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua. It is the most successful Kiwi hatchery in the world.
The National Kiwi Hatchery is the national leader in kiwi husbandry, egg incubation systems, hatching techniques and kiwi chick rearing. When you join one of the available experiences, you’ll may get to see kiwi eggs being incubated, the hatching process and if you’re lucky, newly hatched kiwi chicks.
Most of the action usually happens in the morning, but regardless of the time of day you visit, you’ll experience conservation in action in this nationally significant kiwi hatchery.
Some visitors may have the chance to witness the kiwi chicks getting a health check, being weighted or fed. The routine usually takes place in the morning. Whatever time of day you visit, the Hatchery, the guides and kiwi caregivers always aim to give visitors the best Kiwi experience.
Skyline Rotorua is an iconic all-weather attraction in Rotorua. It is one of the most spectacular ways to take in the 180-degree views of Lake Rotorua, the city and surrounding district.
The famous gondola will take you up the mountain. At the top you’ll find a restaurant and bar, open daily for lunch and dinner. And the Market Kitchen provides a multitude of tasty options for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.
No visit would be complete without a ride down one of Skyline’s luge tracks. The luge is a world first. Riders have full control, over the three-wheel, gravity-based luge cart and it is heaps of fun! Choose one of three different track options, with over 5kms of track to ride. You’ll see: once is certainly not enough.
The world-renowned Agrodome farm show is a must on any visit to Rotorua. It is set in 350-acres of lush farmland, only 10 minutes from Rotorua city centre. Be entertained by a cast of talented animals.
For over 40 years, visitors have come to the the famous Farm Show at the Agrodome. You can also visit the Farmyard Nursery. It is home to the cutest baby animals who are available for cuddles and photos all year round.
There is a guided farm tour of the 350-acre working farm. You’ll get to hand-feed loads of friendly animals and sample delicious kiwifruit juice and honey from the land. And there is also the Woollen Mill and Shearing Museum to visit. Here you’ll learn the remarkable story of, NZ shearing pioneers, the Bowen brothers and discover the full process of wool from the sheep’s back to yours.
Discover one of New Zealand’s most magnificent geothermal wonderlands near Rotorua at Te Puia. See dramatic geysers, bubbling mud and beautiful native bush.
Enjoy the opportunity to come face to face with the biggest, active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere, Pōhutu Geyser. There are also jumping mud pools and live kiwi in the Kiwi Conservation Centre.
And watch master carvers and weavers at work at the NZ Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, and hear guides share stories passed down from their ancestors.
Experience a fantastic evening cultural experience at Te Puia. Prepare for a feast of storytelling, entertainment and Maori cuisine. An authentic Maori welcome begins your in-depth experience of the customs and traditions of Maori.
The evening begins with a traditional powhiri (Maori welcoming ceremony), a warrior’s challenge and a full kapa haka (Maori performing arts) concert.
Enjoy a first-class Maori feast. Feeding guests is regarded by Maori as an honour and a sign of a tribe’s mana (standing). So, a sumptuous banquet is provided during the evening. This banquet combines contemporary cuisine with a traditional hangi (earth-cooked oven meal), where kai (food) is steam-cooked by hot rocks in the earth, giving it a delicious smokey flavour.
And explore the illuminated thermal valley. Following dessert, you will travel by ‘people movers’ to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. Guests can wander around the illuminated natural attractions, including the world famous Pohutu geyser, while enjoying more Maori-inspired delicacies and a hot drink.
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand’s national museum, located in Wellington. Usually known as Te Papa, it opened in 1998 after the merging of the National Museum of New Zealand and the National Art Gallery.
Rated by Lonely Planet as one of their top 500 places on earth, Te Papa is a museum like no other. This interactive museum is a must-do for any visitor to Wellington. Explore six floors of cutting-edge interactive exhibitions housed in an architectural wonder of a building.
Te Papa’s clever, contemporary and bicultural approach makes it stand out amongst more normal museum experiences. This is a really interesting and interactive experience.
The Interislander is one of The Great Journeys of New Zealand and doubles as a Marlborough Sounds cruise. It is New Zealand’s original Cook Strait ferry, sailing between Wellington and Picton several times a day connecting the North & South Islands’ road and rail networks.
Considered one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world, The Interislander is one of New Zealand’s most iconic travel experiences. The ferry takes around three-and-a-half hours to travel between Wellington in the North Island and Picton in the South Island.
From Wellington, your short voyage begins with a tour around Wellington Harbour. You’ll then cross the narrow passage between New Zealand’s two main islands. This passage, The Cook Strait, is named after Captain Cook, the English explorer who first mapped it.
Having crossed Cook Strait, the final stretch of the journey is through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds. This sheltered stretch of water is spectacularly scenic. It’s the reason the trip is known for its scenery. And it is this hour long cruise through the Marlborough Sounds that makes the Interislanderr a must-do experience.
The Coastal Pacific train takes you along rugged coastlines, across remote beaches, between mountains and sea, on a timeless journey of breathtaking beauty between Picton & Christchurch.
Climb aboard one of the most picturesque journeys on New Zealand’s railways. You’ll marvel at the view as you meander along the Pacific coast between Picton and Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand.
Explore the stunning Kaikōura Coastline, famous for its marine life and whale watching. Voyage through the vineyards of Blenheim, dripping with New Zealand’s premium crop. And journey amidst the idyllic Canterbury countryside to the Garden City of Christchurch.
Travelling between Christchurch and Picton, the Coastal Pacific travels breathtakingly close to the sea. The roaring Pacific Ocean meets the rising Kaikōura mountains here and the scenery is hard to forget. But the Coastal Pacific isn’t just a scenic activity. Combined with the Interislander Ferry, it is the perfect way to connect Wellington, Blenheim, Kaikoura and Christchurch.
The International Antarctic Centre transports a slice of this astounding continent to Christchurch. A range of immersive experiences allow everyday visitors to see, touch, feel and fall in love with Antarctica.
You get the chance to journey through modern day Antarctica and experience a taste of this unique and breathtaking continent. Learn about the human impact on the continent, the wildlife and ecosystems and Antarctica’s effect on the globe. Brave an Antarctic storm, go off-road in a Hägglund, befriend a husky, mingle with the penguins, experience Antarctica from all four dimensions.
The Christchurch Tram is a unique experience combining history and sightseeing. The beautifully restored heritage trams are one of the city’s best loved attractions.
Hop-on hop-off tickets allow you to visit the central city sights at your leisure. And the friendly and knowledgeable drivers keep you updated about the latest city changes in informative live commentaries.
Explore the best of the central Christchurch from the 17 stops enroute. Hop off at The Canterbury Museum & Botanic Gardens. Visit Turanga and the Margaret Mahy Playground. Enjoy many retail stores, bars and eateries at The Terrace, Cashel Street & Riverside Market. And the Arts Centre and New Regent Street offer fantastic shopping and dining options for all.
Enjoy a very special view of the South Island’s striking natural landscape. Take the Tranz Alpine train between Christchurch and Greymouth. See epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps, and see miles of native beech forest.
You’ll cross the remarkabley flat Canterbury Plains overlooked by the majestic Southern Alps before eventually crossing the aqua-blue Waimakariri River. Tunnels, viaducts and feats of railway engineering take you across alpine passes where you’ll then travel through lush lake valleys towards the West Coast of the South Island. This iconic train trip is the journey of a lifetime.
The TranzAlpine is acknowledged as one of the world’s great train journeys. The 223 kilometre (139 mile) one-way trip takes just under 5 hours and connects Christchurch and Greymouth on the West Coast via Arthurs Pass through the Southern Alps.
Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum was established in 1948 as a Centennial of Otago project. Appropriately set in the former gold mining town, the museum started life in the billiard rooms of the Ballarat Hotel. It then shifted to the current home, the former Bank of New Zealand building, in 1955.
Over the last 60 years, innovative direction has seen the museum recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading small museums. It has a strong hands-on focus. Working displays cover two floors and incorporate three historic buildings. They offer a window into the past — an authentic picture of early Maori life and the harsh lives of European settlers and goldminers.
A short distance from Queenstown, the museum also houses an art gallery, bookshop, archives and research facility and a busy education programme.
The TSS Earnslaw offers one of the best ways to see Queenstown’s surrounding landscape. Cruise across Lake Whakatipu aboard the iconic century-old coal-fired steamship taking in the views at a leisurely pace.
An iconic piece of Queenstown’s history, The Earsnlaw has been lovingly maintained since 1912. Take time to explore the vessel, view the engine room, and study the historic displays of the steamship’s former life.
Your trip will take you across the lake, past the Remarkables mountain range and Cecil Peak to Walter Peak for a high country farm experience. Then you’ll cruise back to Queenstown Bay with plenty of time to take in that world-famous alpine scenery.
Get set to enjoy the ultimate Doubtful Sound experience with this overnight cruise in an unspoiled, unmatched and unforgettable place.
Start in Manapouri, a short distance from Te Anau, with a short cruise across Lake Manapouri. A coach then takes you across Wilmot Pass, travelling on a sub-alpine road through dense rainforest. At Deep Cove you’ll be met by your crew and your vessel.
With old world charm, modern comforts, spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon with a fully licensed bar and an observation lounge the small ship is perfect for purpose. Be prepared to see the pod of resident dolphins, fur seals or rare penguins. As you cruise through some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery, the knowledgeable nature guides will provide commentary so you miss nothing.
After dropping anchor in a sheltered cove you choose how you enjoy this special place. Explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat. Or simply relax onboard. For the adventurous — or very brave — there’s even a chance to go swimming. (All activities are weather dependent.)
In the evening, you’ll enjoy a delicious three-course buffet dinner prepared by our onboard chef and served in the dining saloon.
Situated on the picturesque Otago Peninsula, a short distance from Dunedin, Larnach Castle is one of New Zealand’s premier visitor attractions. It took more than 200 workmen three years to build the Castle shell. Then master European craftsmen spent a further 12 years embellishing the interior.
William Larnach spared no expense on his dream home, which features the finest materials from around the world. Allowed to decay, it has been lovingly restored over decades by the Barker family who purchased it in 1967.
The family has restored the empty buildings from ruin and have assembled a large collection of original New Zealand period furniture and antiques. A living collection that showcases the craftsmanship and spirt of New Zealand.
Visit Larnach Castle to discover its rich history, dating back to 1871. Its interiors are a fascinating insight into Victorian decor. And you’ll enjoy exploring the exquisite gardens, which have attained a Garden of International Significance award from the New Zealand Gardens Trust.
The Pleasant Point Museum and Railway is a heritage railway located in the small country town of Pleasant Point in southern Canterbury.
Its main terminal is located at Pleasant Point station near Timaru. The station was an important stop on the former Fairlie Branch line. Today there is 2km of track along the formation of the retired line. Volunteers keep the locomotives, carriages, and a railcar in top order.
Throughout the year you will hear a whistle or a horn as trainloads of passengers from around the world ride the rails at Pleasant Point, a picturesque spot between the mountains and the sea.
“Excellent – we got treated like VIP’s everywhere we went. I now have a comprehensive knowledge of New Zealand!”
E. G. (USA)
“We have had a wonderful time. Small group tour with good hotels and a good Coach Captain really worked for us. Thank you!”
T. S. (Western Australia)
“The value and scope of the tour is extraordinary, every attention is given to pax comfort and preference. The single seat configuration was the initial attraction for me. It is spacious and very comfortable, allows for privacy/quiet. I would certainly highly recommend Ultimate. Excellent and comfortable hotels.”
M. M. (Victoria, Australia)
“This has been a fantastic tour enabling me to see the best of New Zealand in a relaxed, comfortable way. My knowledge of New Zealand has been vastly expanded and being in a small group has made it more special. So please I chose this tour; the coach, train rides, cruising – all excellent.”
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages. This allows us to improve the customer experience and meet our audience's needs.
We also collect information required to respond to enquiries and facilitate the sales process via, our customer service solution, Active Campaign. Rest assured, this information is not shared with anyone, except where necessary to facilitate a tour booking or respond to an information request.
Keeping these cookies enabled helps us to improve our website and provide you with great service and support as you find your perfect New Zealand tour.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!